- What does a club need to be successful? There is one magic ingredient
- In football, one day very soon, the dam is going to burst
Supporters, obviously, support. Changing the club one supports is not an option, no matter how badly your side is doing. One might stop going to some of the matches, but in essence, the support of the club is still there, and most of us will go to enormous lengths to stay in touch with “our” club.
I remember, for example following the end of the first double season on short-wave radio, my having moved (for reasons that will not become clear at this point) to Algiers. I did actually manage to see the Cup Final on Algerian TV, but otherwise, it was short-wave radio – and if you are of an age where “short wave” means nothing, let me summarise it by saying “And it’s Radford…. [crackle, interference, fade, crackle] and so its a free kick and…” and so on.
But if changing the club is not an option, criticizing the club certainly is, no matter how illogical such a situation is. The manager is useless, half the team are useless, I can see it, and why can’t the manager see it? That sort of thing.
However, the problem is that the number of really good managers who can not only see what is wrong but do something about it is very small. And the amount of time clubs are willing to give a new manager, has noticeably decreased in recent years.
The longest-serving manager in league football in England is … Simon Weaver at Harrowgate who has been in the job for over 14 years. In terms of the current Premier League the longest is Jurgen Klopp who is approaching eight years at Liverpool. During that time he has won the League, FA Cup League Cup, and Champions League, each once. So one trophy every two years. A report in Football 365 said recently that he felt it was about time to leave.
Arteta joined Arsenal in December 2019, which means he has had three full seasons at the club, and won the FA Cup once – although we would give an honorable mention to coming second last season. But in total terms it is 0.33 trophies a year).
But how long should a manager be allowed to stay if success isn’t forthcoming? Although Arsene Wenger couldn’t deliver another league title to Arsenal after the unbeaten season, in his last five years at the club he won the FA Cup three times, but clearly for a number of supporters that was not enough.
In his 12 years at the club Wenger delivered 10 trophies (three league titles and a record-breaking seven FA Cups), and a lot of that time was with funding highly restricted because of the stadium move. That gives us a total of 0.83 trophies a year. Arteta is currently on one every three years (being generous and not counting his first half-season).
The second longest-serving manager Arsenal have had was Bertie Mee and he had three trophies in ten years (Fairs Cup, FA Cup, League). (0.33 a year).
George Graham was with us just under nine years and delivered six trophies (0.66 a year). Tom Whittaker (who came after Chapman) lasted eight years and like Chapman sadly died in office, and he delivered three trophies (0.38 a year).
Terry Neill was there for six years and produced one cup win (0.16 trophies a year.
And then, continuing to work down the list of managers by the time they were at the club, we come to Herbert Chapman. He was with the club for eight complete years and as you probably know, Chapman passed away part way through a title winning season, so that gives us 0.38 trophies per season if we only count complete seasons, but if we did count Chapman’s final but incomplete season, that figure would rise to 0.44 trophies – and I think we should as this was clearly his team and they were way ahead of the rest of the field by the time of his passing.
So pulling this together we get…
|Manager||Trophies||Trophies per season|
Arteta has won one trophy in three seasons. A trophy this season would take him up to 0.5 trophies a season – above Chapman. Two trophies this season would take him to 0.75 trophies a season. Behind Wenger, but not by much.
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- Arsenal v Tottenham; the team and some rather jolly recent history
- We are running out of referees, and the reason is the PGMO.
- Arsenal v Tottenham: the key fact the media won’t to tell you – and why they won’t
- Arsenal v Tottenham: different clubs, different managers, different successes